Shirley Baker’s striking shots
At first glance, Shirley Baker pictures could be of a war zone perhaps canada goose black friday sale Britain during the Blitz, or some ghostly dystopia. They seem to show normal people Canada Goose sale carrying on as the place they call home is violently destroyed.
But Baker who is posthumously remembered as Britain first female street photographer wasn a capturing a conflict. Instead, she was shooting Canada Goose Online the streets of Salford in what is now Greater Manchester, which she focused on from 1961 to 1981. Her images show children at play, canada goose replica mothers chatting as they hang the washing, elderly men feeding pigeons all surrounded by houses that are being razed, the result of post war slum clearances by the British government.
Many of canada goose clearance sale her images are currently on at the Photographers Gallery in London, which is celebrating her 65 year career with the exhibition Shirley Baker: Women, Children and Loitering Men.
streets were disappearing, Baker said in an interview. I hoped to capture some trace of the everyday life of the people who lived there. I wanted to photograph the mundane, even trivial aspects of life not being recorded by anyone else. My sympathies lay with the people who were forced to exist miserably, often on end, sometimes years, whilst demolition went on all around them. Whole streets were disappearing. I hoped to capture some trace of the people who lived there
Built to house the families who moved to Manchester during the Industrial Revolution, buy canada goose jacket cheap the tightly packed terraced streets were classed as canada goose coats on sale slums when Baker arrived with her camera in 1961. The government began to clear slums in the 1930s, resuming again soon after the World War Two. Between 1955 and 1975, around 1.3 million homes were demolished.
View image of Manchester, 1968 (Credit: Credit: Shirley Baker Estate/Mary Evans Picture LIbrary)
Baker photographs are buy canada goose jacket celebrations of youth, shared community and the enduring ability of people to get by
street would be half pulled down and the remnants set on fire while people were still living in the area, Baker said in an interview shortly before her death at the age of 82 in September 2014. And many of Baker subjects didn know they were entitled to benefits. squatted in old buildings, trying to hang on to the life they canada goose coats knew. They didn’t have officialcanadagoosesoutlet much. Things were decided for them, canadian goose jacket she said.
Baker photographs are not rallying canada goose clearance cries of social injustice, canada goose outlet store locations but small celebrations of youth and Canada Goose Outlet innocence, shared community and the enduring ability of people to get by regardless of their environment.
View image of Hulme, 1965 (Credit: Credit: Shirley Baker Estate/Mary Evans Picture Library)
There are no playgrounds in Baker photographs, for example. Instead, Baker shows girls pushing prams past piles of rubble or turning a lamppost into a swing, and young boys playing cricket on cracked pavements or gleefully helping to demolish the homes of their community.
View image of Manchester, 1964 (Credit: Credit: Shirley Baker Estate/Mary Evans Picture Library)
empathy evidenced in Shirley Baker images belies Canada Goose Coats On Sale a deep rooted commitment cheap Canada Goose and tenacity that produced some of the canada goose clearance most powerful images of a generation, says Brett Rogers, director of the Photographers Gallery. relationship with the communities she worked with is both respectful and revealing. The harsh conditions in the dilapidated houses and desolate landscapes remain 2018 canada goose outlet secondary to the relationships that were built within and in spite of them. The daughter of a successful furniture maker and his wife, she enjoyed a Canada Goose online relatively privileged upbringing. She and her identical twin sister Barbara were educated as boarders in Wales before they were evacuated to Chatsworth House in Derbyshire during WWII.
Baker started to take pictures when she was given a camera by an uncle at the age of eight. She began photographing the people that worked for her father business, and in the canada goose store surrounding streets of Salford.
View image of Manchester, 1967 (Credit: Credit: Shirley Baker Estate)
After finishing school, she decided to pursue an artistic profession. But Baker never promoted her own work. Indeed, for much of her career, she worked almost in secret, actively keeping her photography to herself: she never even displayed any of her photographs in her own home.
Baker never displayed any of her photographs in her own home
Working in an era when women were Canada Goose Parka not expected to take photographs outside of the home, Baker endured plenty of rejection. After studying photography at Manchester College of Technology (with only one other woman on the course) she worked as a photographer for a local fabric manufacturer, recording processes and producing promotional images.
It proved a dispiriting experience. a way I had to unlearn what I had learnt on the course, and it took me a very long time, she once said.
View image of Manchester, 1963 (Credit: Credit: Shirley Baker Estate/Mary Evans Picture Library)
She canada goose outlet toronto factory began tentatively freelancing as a photojournalist, Canada Goose Jackets but was consistently denied a press card. At the time, photojournalism was seen as a man profession; if women worked in photography at all, they did so in more fields, like fashion or domestic life. Baker began to close herself off from the established photography industry, ceasing to pursue full time, paid jobs in photojournalism.
Pursuing what was seen as a man profession, she was consistently denied a press card
In 1957, Baker married Tony Levy, a local doctor, and settled into family life in Wilmslow, Cheshire. Their daughter Nan was born in 1963. Baker continued to spend days on end on the streets of inner city Salford, creating a body of work now considered among the defining photography of the era.
View image of Hulme, July 1965 (Credit: Credit: Shirley Baker Estate)
described the streets, to me, as like her second home, says Anna Douglas, canada goose deals curator of Women, Children and Loitering Men and canada goose a friend of Baker knew she wasn of these people, but yet she felt phenomenally at ease with them. This is not the kind of imagery you would get from a press photographer, because Shirley spent years there. She wasn in a rush, and they weren in a rush. photography is the result of years of investment in and engagement with her subjects some of whom were so familiar with her presence, they seem not to see her at all.